Neighbor Drama - Need opinions

IronSnake

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Our house:
  • On small cul-de-sac style road with only two houses on it.
  • Lane ends in front of my home.
  • I have an easement on my neighbors property for a small portion of the road, and then an easement on the small plot of land our lane runs through to get to the main road.
  • When I signed for the house, I signed for the easement rights, but none of it had any "maintenance" agreements built into it.
Neighbor:
  • Very socially awkward (his words)
  • Works at home and stares outside all day on our yard/house, and the easement.
  • Has accused my wife of cutting christmas lights (squirrel ate it), stuck his nose in every project we've considered (he ease drops, then sends a text), been relatively rude
  • Asked to borrow our riding mower multiple times, then was offended when I asked him if he'd buy me a new deck if I loaned it to him and he hit a stump/knot.
Issue:

  • Easement upkeep. It's a voluntary procedure. Nothing contractual. Nothing functional. Purely aesthetic (pick up leaves, mow occasionally, etc)
  • I usually do it every 2 months. Grass grows slow there. I hate yard work. I just do it enough to keep the yard and weeds down for the dog, otherwise I don't really care too much.
  • He wants it done monthly. And has sent multiple rude/condescending messages to us implying an expected completion date like he's our boss/project manager.
  • Last straw came saturday when we had a wall taken out of our home to open the floor plan up. I'm mid project, he messages us "it's a great day for you to do yard work. Let us know if we can help. Really want it done so we can save the grass" lol.
  • I ignore him since it was rude and I didn't have time.
  • F150 was loaded down with wood/drywall at EOD saturday. I'm carrying it in. He walks to the end of the drive, looks back at me, shakes his head, and just stares at me. I'm covered in sheet rock dust/saw dust.
  • Sends another message this morning saying we need to have it kept up monthly, and that we should split the bill. And to let him know so he can make it happen.
  • I basically told him off/that we have no responsibility to him/the easement on it's upkeep. We will get it done when we can.

Long story short, he retorts that he can't speak to me because i'm irrational. I feel like his lack of perception is tragically flawed, and his list of priorities is greatly skewed. Am I being crazy?
 

Coiled03

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Really? He's already an asshole, based on your description, so it's not like you're risking damaging a good relationship.

Tell him to either A) **** off and you'll get to it when you can, B) he can do it himself (unless you don't want him on your property), or C) he can pay to have it maintained on his schedule.
 

9397SVTs

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I have no experience with anything like this. If I understand this correctly, you are land-locked due to his and other adjoining properties. As a result, you are provided an easement, which is on his property, in order to access your property from the road. This is not a good situation for either of you.

In order to alleviate the eaves dropping, can you put up a privacy fence?

As for the easement maintenance, this is not a big deal. Regardless of what's in a contract, you are using a portion of his property to access your house. By assisting with the upkeep, you are just being a good neighbor and "paying" your share. Since you don't like yard work, the two of you should hire a company to do this on a regular schedule and split the cost.

Again, I don't know much about the subject, but I wouldn't want to risk him pursuing avenues of having the easement rights revoked. Then, you would have a house on land that you can't access.
 

fiveoboy01

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So he wants it done monthly, you do it bi-montly.

Simply explain to him he's responsible for the month in between, and if he won't do it or pay to have it done, then it gets done bi-montly.

If he doesn't like it? Too bad for him.
 

RDJ

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Really? He's already an asshole, based on your description, so it's not like you're risking damaging a good relationship.


Tell him to either A) **** off and you'll get to it when you can, B) he can do it himself (unless you don't want him on your property), or C) he can pay to have it maintained on his schedule.

It’s an easement, technically it is not his property, it is still the property of the neighbor, he is just allowed to use it.


Easements are sometimes a matter of law i.e. usually when a property is surrounded by land owned by another's property the law says they must grant an easement for access. Sometimes one is granted out of the “goodness” of the heart. Maintenance is usually the responsibility of the person using the easement unless there is a section stating otherwise. Op needs to read his easement docs again to ensure he is in compliance and if he is use my suggestion in my previous post
 

RDJ

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There is no such thing as “regardless of what’s in a contract”. The contract rules and IF there is a contract both parties are bound. As far as revoking the easement depending on the law and how the easement was granted it may not be able to be revoked. It the easement is a matter of law then it can not be revoked. And whether it can be revoked will be governed by the document the op signed at closing

I have no experience with anything like this. If I understand this correctly, you are land-locked due to his and other adjoining properties. As a result, you are provided an easement, which is on his property, in order to access your property from the road. This is not a good situation for either of you.

In order to alleviate the eaves dropping, can you put up a privacy fence?

As for the easement maintenance, this is not a big deal. Regardless of what's in a contract, you are using a portion of his property to access your house. By assisting with the upkeep, you are just being a good neighbor and "paying" your share. Since you don't like yard work, the two of you should hire a company to do this on a regular schedule and split the cost.

Again, I don't know much about the subject, but I wouldn't want to risk him pursuing avenues of having the easement rights revoked. Then, you would have a house on land that you can't access.
 

sleek98

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I would find the original contract and see if it states who is required to provide maintenance. It is still his property that he (or an owner that he bought the property from) sold the right to a prior owner of your parcel of land the right be on to access your property. If there is nothing in the original contract for maintenance it is really on him to do however if there is nothing in there other than you have the right to drive on it to get to your house he can bust up the concrete and leave it a mud pit and tell you to drive through it. Its just the right right to use the property to get to your place.

Its prolly easier to just run your mower over it once a month and be done with it. From what you are saying its not very big since he can hear you talking at your place.

*edit* the original easement should be filed with the city or county depending on where the city limits were when the easement was filed.
 

scott9050

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Place him in this real quiet like.
 

9397SVTs

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There is no such thing as “regardless of what’s in a contract”. The contract rules and IF there is a contract both parties are bound. As far as revoking the easement depending on the law and how the easement was granted it may not be able to be revoked. It the easement is a matter of law then it can not be revoked. And whether it can be revoked will be governed by the document the op signed at closing

The OP stated that the contract did not specify maintenance requirements. Since this is a point of contention between him and an unpleasant neighbor, I was suggesting that he work with the neighbor instead of waving the contract in his face and telling him to pound sand. Especially over something so trivial. To do otherwise is only asking for more unnecessary headaches.

That's all I was saying.
 

IronSnake

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Easement is simply a contract stating I have a right of way.

Maintenance is implied if you want to be nice, but not expressly notated in either. I read all of my documents pretty clearly and know what I signed. I'll review them again to be 100%, but I would remember if it stated "Mow the grass every month". I don't do well with mandates and it wouldn't of jived when I signed.

As for busting up the concrete, that's fine. I have a truck on 35's and can drive through a hole if need be. But I doubt they want that.

I did come back to him and said we clearly have a communication issue. If you think poorly of me (which he called me rude, an asshole, angry, and full of ultimatums), then I don't get why you still ask for and accept my help. No reply. Then I just said I'll get it done when I can. Simple as that. No reply either.

My ultimate goal is to have little to no contact with them. Problem with that is, they seem to think what I'm doing should concern them in most cases.
 

IronSnake

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The OP stated that the contract did not specify maintenance requirements. Since this is a point of contention between him and an unpleasant neighbor, I was suggesting that he work with the neighbor instead of waving the contract in his face and telling him to pound sand. Especially over something so trivial. To do otherwise is only asking for more unnecessary headaches.

That's all I was saying.

It's trivial except for the fact theres enough leaves and debris on the easement up front to fill 15 lowes bags. It will take half a saturday to properly do it. Hence why I haven't had time, and he's breathing down my neck about it.

Not really interested in waiving contractual statements around. I think it comes down to frequency of getting it done, and that he wants to have a very black and white agreement of "You do it every second weekend every other month". Whereas, I'm like no, if I get invited to be on a boat, need to fix my car, work on the house, or am sick, I am going to be doing that instead. I'll get to it when I can.

He doesn't like that idea. Said i'm not a "Man of my word". lol. okay
 

9397SVTs

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How long have each of you lived there? Is this new or been going on from the beginning?
 

jshen

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I am assuming this is a "legal" contract and as such legally enforceable. If the contact does not mention duties of easement holder...The law has to construe the "contact" most favorably to the recepient and negatively toward the draftor.. Im sure there is plenty of case law in your area to cover this.
 

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